Darkness At the Edge of Town

October 20, 2014
4.5 Stars
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

This summer I found myself being asked to come up with a lot of beer cocktails -- the summer of the beer cocktail, I guess -- including some for an event put on by Deschutes Brewery. I came up with this cocktail specifically for use with their Black Butte Porter, but I think it would work with many different porter-style beers. The beer is basically used here as sort of a stand-in for vermouth and bitters in a spin-off of a classic Negroni. —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Fiveandspice knows a thing or two about cocktails -- she and her husband own a distillery in Minnesota!
WHAT: A beer cocktail that’s kind of like a shandy, kind of like a Negroni, and kind of crazy.
HOW: Stir equal parts gin (fiveandspice's distillery's gin is great, but you can also use Tanqueray) and Aperol with ice, strain into a glass, then top with porter and a squeeze of orange juice. Prepare to be amazed.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is a drink that left us scratching our heads. WHY do gin, Aperol, and porter beer go well together? With a couple more sips, we stopped being confused and surrendered to this strange, wonderful, and boozy combination. —The Editors

  • Makes 1 drink
  • 1 ounce gin -- a nice herbal one (I use Vikre Distillery Cedar)
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 4 ounces chilled porter-style beer
  • orange wedge
In This Recipe
  1. Stir the gin and Aperol with ice until chilled but not fully diluted (about 30 seconds, depending on the size of your ice cubes), strain into a glass, top with porter, and squeeze in the orange wedge.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cristina Sciarra
    Cristina Sciarra
  • anotherfoodieblogger
  • Kukla
  • foxeslovelemons
  • inpatskitchen

17 Reviews

cpc June 12, 2022
This sounds both disgusting and intriguing. I'm definitely going to have to try it since I like all those ingredients individually, maybe I will like them together.

Cristina S. July 2, 2015
This is the best name for a drink I've ever heard.
anotherfoodieblogger November 8, 2014
Aww shucks Emily, it would have been nice to see Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter in the photos. I live in Bend, I could have sent some! Hands down I'm voting for this one, though! I'll take a beer cocktail over any other cocktail any day.
Author Comment
fiveandspice November 8, 2014
Awww shucks right back atcha. I love beer cocktails too. So fun to play with! And, I loved working with Deschutes, they were great. Next time we'll have to get the F52 team to try it with the Black Butte Porter :).
Kukla November 7, 2014
Congratulations on being a finalist Emily! This cocktail sounds wonderful!
Good luck!
Author Comment
fiveandspice November 8, 2014
Thank you so much Kukla! You're so kind.
foxeslovelemons November 6, 2014
I knew this would be a finalist as soon as I saw it. It's just so.....strange, but in a really good way, it seems. Congrats, fiveandspice!
Author Comment
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Thanks FLL! Even I was surprised when I first tried it and it actually tasted good, really good. Anyway, I cannot wait to give your meyer lemon bourbon smash a try as soon as we can get meyer lemons out here in the sticks (they're only available at our grocery store for about a month in the year). :)
foxeslovelemons November 7, 2014
Haha, that's OK. I'm a purist when it comes to Meyers. Even though they just started being available year-round in my grocery store, I only let myself buy them when they *should* be in season! Then I go crazy for that one month or so :)
inpatskitchen November 6, 2014
So honored to be standing with you! Congratulations! Brilliant cocktail!
Author Comment
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
LIKEWISE!!!!! <3
QueenSashy November 6, 2014
I never thought of using beer in a cocktail, until about a week ago -- a friend made me try her favorite combo (coke and lager). And it was amazing! I cannot wait to try this one...
Author Comment
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Aren't beer cocktails interesting?! I never would have gotten into them, except we had to do a series of events that were all about beer cocktails. So, I did a lot of experimenting and really fell in love with the complexity of flavors - fruitiness, bitterness, malt... - that beer can add to a cocktail.
gingerroot November 6, 2014
Yipeee! Congrats, Em! I discovered MollyandBrandon's Campari Shandy this summer and it opened a whole new world of beer cocktails for me. This sounds delicious and I can't wait to try it. xx
Ps. I'm also thrilled you enjoyed my drink!
Author Comment
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Thank you Jenny! We LOVED your twist on a Manhattan, and I'm sure we'll be making it a lot this winter. (I also felt really cool because I already had all the ingredients on hand :)
mrslarkin October 25, 2014
I think I'm going to crown you the "Queen of Cocktails." This sounds lovely, 5&s.
Author Comment
fiveandspice November 6, 2014
Thanks Liz! It was a surprising discovery, but we love it.